The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) deploys unique security solution to protect medieval chapel as important restoration work begins

Axis Communications, globally renowned firm dealing in network video technology, has been working alongside The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) to bring a medieval property back to life so that one day it can be used as a home.

Deploying Axis network cameras

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, a UK charity organisation, based out of London, sought a unique solution to protect a circa C15 chapel in need of restoration and deployed a network camera solution to monitor the site remotely for intruders and to act as a deterrent against theft of materials. The SPAB is dedicated to protecting and repairing historic buildings, and recently purchased former chapel St Andrews

The SPAB is dedicated to protecting and repairing historic buildings, and recently purchased former chapel St Andrews near Maidstone, Kent, with the aim of breathing life back into the structure. In recent years its main roles have been advice, training and campaigning. However, the recently purchased building, its first new repair project in almost 50 years, will allow the SPAB to teach others the practical skills required to care for such a building, whilst also returning a historic building to the housing market.

Protecting and securing historic buildings

The Axis solution has negated the need to have a security resource on site to protect the premises. The video surveillance and intrusion detection system has already successfully identified intruders entering the grounds of the building. Additionally, the network cameras can document the restoration work as it takes place on a daily basis and have also been useful in detecting local wildlife to provide the Kent Wildlife Trust with an idea of the range of animals with homes around the location, including many foxes.

The technologies used included:

  • Four AXIS Companion Bullet LE cameras, delivering HD video quality with built-in IR illumination for effective surveillance in darkness
  • An AXIS Companion Cube camera with a built-in microphone and mini-speaker to effectively deter intruders
  • AXIS Companion Recorder, providing a wireless access point for mobile devices.

Network camera surveillance

The image quality of the cameras is fantastic, especially at night"

Matthew Slocombe, director of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, commented, “The image quality of the cameras is fantastic, especially at night when it is, of course, usually more difficult to identify potential threats. We are grateful to Axis Communications for providing this work and equipment free of charge, it means we can put our resources into saving St Andrews, Boxley – a truly special building.

The SPAB believes that ensuring the future of our culturally and historically important buildings can improve our environment and wellbeing. Because this drive to create a better world is in line with Axis’ ethos of innovating for a smarter, safer world and doing good in the community, the cameras were donated for the purposes of securing the premises during the conservation works.

Efficient intrusion detection

David Needham, UK & Ireland Sales Manager at Axis Communications, said “We felt we wanted to get involved with this project as we recognised an organisation that was trying to help others and do good in the community, which is core to our values as a business. Since the installation, the cameras have identified young adults entering the building’s grounds, but not harming the property. It’s also seen local residents stopping and challenging people looking to enter unlawfully. This has meant there is no need to deploy security personnel to secure the site, saving the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings time and money.

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